Hospital of humiliation: Patients had to endure four nights on a day ward and were forced to use cardboard bowls to wash themselves
Inspectors found there was no night lighting on the wards so bright lights were switched on when needed, disturbing sleep of other patientsNo bedside storage so patients belongings were left on the floorCQC has imposed restriction on Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust to stop it treating long-term patients on day unit for more than 23 hoursTrust interim chief said they accepted facilities were not 'entirely suitable'
23:43 GMT, 21 September 2012
Patients endured ‘completely unacceptable’ conditions when they were forced to stay in a hospital’s day-surgery ward for up to four days because of NHS bed shortages.
With no showers on the ward, they had to clean themselves in disposable cardboard wash bowls filled with water.
And because there were no proper catering facilities, they were given sandwiches and frozen ready meals heated in a microwave instead of freshly prepared food.
Pindersfields General Hospital: Legal restriction to stop it from keeping patients in the surgical day unit for more than 23 hours
Patients on the ward also had to leave their belongings on the floor because there were no bedside cupboards.
The failings were discovered at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, by Care Quality Commission inspectors.
To ensure the ‘safety and wellbeing’
of patients, the watchdog body has now banned the hospital from keeping
them on the day-surgery ward for more than 24 hours.
Patients on the day unit did not receive freshly cooked meals for days and washed in disposable bowls
The disposable cardboard wash bowls
they were required to use are favoured by NHS staff over plastic ones
as there is a lower risk of infections being spread between patients.
Due to a clause in the hospital’s
catering contract, it cannot provide patients with hot food from the
kitchen on the day- surgery ward.
Stephen Eames, interim chief executive of the trust, said: 'We do accept that the facilities and environment on this unit were not entirely suitable for inpatients'
Patients were only meant to stay in
the unit for up to 24 hours before being discharged or transferred to
another ward, but some had to remain there for four days.
Malcolm Bower-Brown, deputy director
of the CQC in the North, said: ‘The failings we witnessed on this unit
at Pinderfields Hospital were completely unacceptable.
‘The CQC took swift action following our inspection to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients.
‘The decision to place an urgent
condition on a provider’s registration is not one we take lightly.
However, when we find poor practice, as we did in this case, we will
take immediate action to ensure patients are not at risk.’
The hospital will now have to prove to
the watchdog that it has made substantial improvements and may face
further inspections. Patients staying in the ward had all undergone day
surgery including having hernias removed, varicose vein treatment or
Most having such procedures are
allowed to go home on the same day, but some have to stay on after
developing complications or taking longer to recover.
Diane Abbott, Labour’s shadow public
health minister, said: ‘The failings here are totally unacceptable, and
it’s a real concern that incidents like this seem to be becoming
increasingly commonplace because of the strain the NHS has been put